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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Sound Off: Sitcoms with Questionable “Main” Characters

Are you like me in that I just don’t care about Ted’s search for the kids’ mother anymore on “How I Met Your Mother?”    I thought so.  And you know what, I think that’s a good thing.   You know why?   It’s a testament to the writing and casting teams.   To me the show has become about the lives of these 5 friends in NYC that I have grown to care about not about who Ted ends up marrying.  The best character on the show and, in my opinion, one of the best TV sitcom characters in TV history is Barney Stinson. Neil Patrick Harris is legen…wait for it…dary.  There hasn’t been one week where Barney hasn’t said something that made me laugh out loud.   And some of it is his delivery more than the line itself.  Robin and Marshmellow and Lily Pad (Marshall and Lily) also have their moments when they shine.  But together, the chemistry is palpable.  You can tell these 5 actors really enjoy working with one another and it transfers to my TV each week.  Ted is the weak link and that’s ok because everyone else is so strong.   If Ted gets married or doesn’t, I don’t care.  But I do care about the lives of these best friends and watching the different ways they will entertain me every week.

I think this happens with shows from time to time.  The “main” character of the show becomes secondary or non-existent in importance due to the great ensemble cast.  Here are some examples of shows that fall in the category:

  1. Seinfeld: I was never a Jerry Seinfeld fan.  I didn’t find his standup funny nor his character on his TV show.   But the rest of the cast (especially George and Elaine) made that show what it was.  Jerry became the Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for the show…he needed to be there to make the other parts flourish and stand out, but he wasn’t the focus nor should he have been.   That show became one of the best comedies of all time despite the fact that the main character wasn’t funny at all.
  2. Cougartown: jumping to a recent show, the show centers around Jules (Courteney Cox) and her family and friends.   I for one love the family and friends (especially Bobby and Ellie) but Jules is just kind of there.  She has her moments but she isn’t nearly as funny as the rest of the cast.   I like Jules’ character and I like her in the softer more serious parts of the show…like this past week during the Halloween episode with her and her dad (the amazing Dr Kelso from Scrubs, Ken Jennings) on the bench outside Grayson’s bar.  That is where Jules shines and is incredibly relatable.  But it’s a sitcom so it needs to be about the funny.  The rest of the cast brings that, Jules just doesn’t.
  3. Frasier: I don’t agree with this one because I found Frasier to be very funny and integral to the show.    But many of my friends and people I have talked to about Frasier said he was so annoying and the worst part of the show.  Now I will say that Niles, Daphne, Martin, and Roz were hilarious and stronger characters than Frasier, but I still thought that Frasier added wonderful comedic timing and his facial expressions to highlight just how he was feeling was priceless.   To me, watching Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce work off each other was like watching a Masters Comedic Acting Class.  They were brilliant together.  But other people found Frasier to be boring, over the top, and agitating.  And at times, I could kind of see how people would come to that conclusion.
  4. Roseanne: I may get a lot of people who don’t like this being on the list and I know it was a popular show but I thought Roseanne was the WORST lead sitcom character.  She is another one like Jerry Seinfeld where I just don’t think she is funny.  At least Seinfeld isn’t a jerk though.  I don’t have any problems with him personally, but Roseanne, on top of not being funny, was just a loud mouth jerk.  It’s hard to root for characters like that.   But I also thought she was the least funny on her show.  Jackie was the best character and Dan, Becky, and Darlene made me laugh more than Roseanne did.  Overall, I didn’t like the show Roseanne, but her supporting cast was great.   She was terrible.
  5. Everybody Loves Raymond: Another “comic” I don’t find funny at all.  Ray Romano, ugh.  Another popular show that ran for 10 seasons!!  But I just couldn’t watch because of him.   He was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.  But Debra, Marie and Frank were hilarious.  Marie and Debra’s dynamic was terrific.  Robert was ok.  I could take his character in VERY small doses.  The Barones were perfectly cast (except for Ray) and the strong ensemble is what made ELR run as long as it did.

So what do you think?  I’m sure some agree and some disagree with the list above but I would be curious to hear your thoughts on which shows have some of the weakest “leads” but amazing “supporting” casts to make the show a success.

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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in CBS, Sound Off

 

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LOST Analysis: Supernatural “You Can’t Handle the Truth” S6 E6

I was partially wrong and partially right about Sam.  I was right that there was no way this was the new and not-so improved Sam being an empty shell of himself with no remorse or conscious…although I was kind of wrong.   But I was wrong about Sam being a demon…although maybe he is because the jury is still out.   But I was right that something was wrong with Sam…yeah me!!!   I suck at this.   As it turns out, this is really Sam but he has no soul.   Say what?   Sam has no soul.   So does that mean the real Sam is dead and this is ghost Sam (Veritas said he couldn’t be human.)  Or this is Sam walking around without his soul?  The Catholic in me wonders how that is possible but I keep reminding myself that it’s only a TV show.   Suspension of disbelief is essential with shows like this.   Sam without a soul explains a hell of a lot.  But it opens the door for so many questions.   Who took Sam’s soul?   Was it Lucifer?  Was it a crossroads type demon with whom he had to make a deal…his soul for his life?    How can Sam get it back or can he?   Who sent Sam back to the land of the living and why?  I still think this is about punishing Dean and destroying his life some how but I don’t know who is behind it and if it has anything to do with the civil war in Heaven.  And how can Sam fake his old personality?   If he has no soul, wouldn’t he be soulless Sam all the time without a care of how it impacts Dean?   Why would he try or even care to pretend to be “old” Sam?  That’s why I wonder if it is as simple as “Sam without a soul.”  I like that we are getting some answers this soon into S6 rather than waiting until E18 to find out what is wrong with Sam.   Since next week it looks like we confirm soulless Sam, the next step would be finding out why this happened, who has his soul, and how does he get it back.   We also have to factor Samuel and the “cousins” into the equation.   I’m still not sold on the fact that they are here for the right reasons.   But Grandpa had to have been brought back for a reason.  If he was in Heaven, did the angels know about Sam and bring Samuel back to either protect and help Dean or to help Sam get his soul back?   Or is he there to help Sam go after Dean?    I have no idea where this is going but I am really anxious to find out!

The case this week was the goddess of Truth, Veritas, inserting her presence into this town in Illinois and forcing people to tell the harshest of truths resulting in the suicides/deaths of many people.   Somehow when a person request the truth, that is exactly what they get.  A waitress’ sister she would be better off if she just killed herself and she doesn.  A man at a dentist’s office tells the dentist how he molested his daughter and the dentist proceed to buzz saw the inside of his mouth.   That scene alone caused my husband and I to shift in our seats and grimace in pain.   Can you imagine that death?  Good God.   Guy deserved it though.  Anyhoo, the boys start their investigation and on side moments, Dean is calling Bobby to let him know that he knows something is wrong and that this isn’t Sam.  Bobby isn’t sure what to do and neither does Dean but he wants to keep Sam at a distance.   When Sam gets back to the motel, Dean suggests they investigate seperately…Sam can interview people and Dean will do research.   Just that suggestion alone should throw up a red flag to Sam!    Sam leaves and Dean’s “research” takes him to a local tavern.   Did anyone else notice how much Dean drank in this episode?   Although I would too if I was going through Dean’s issues.  Just last night I threw back quite a few Sam Adams Octoberfests after the lousy work week I had….sorry I digress.  So back to the bar, Dean let’s out the phrase that has Veritas throw down her truth gauntlet, “I just want the truth.”   What ensues are some really funny lines from the bartender and a young lady at a table behind Dean.  “I’m squeezing my boobs together so you notice them.   I just bought them.”  Dean looks, says “good for you”  and leaves.   And then he comes back to take another look in typical Dean fashion.   Ha!!!  He also calls Bobby and Bobby ends up admitting things Dean didn’t want to know, like the fact that he watches “Tori and Dean.”    He also tells Dean that Dean was always his favorite but Sam is the better hunter.  Too funny.  I love Bobby.   He hangs up and then Lisa calls.  I would be torn here.  It’s a great chance to get the honest truth from Lisa about their situation, but I don’t know if I would want to know.   If I were him, I wouldn’t have answered the call.  But he does and it doesn’t go well.  For most of this conversation I think Lisa has every right to question Dean but then she goes too far.   She wants to know why he pushed Ben (very understandable), she says that he keeps so much to himself and doesn’t open up to her (also very understandable) and that when Sam came back she knew they were over because his relationship with Sam is so unhealthy (wait, what?)  And then she dumps Dean.  I have mentioned before about the fact that I like Lisa and Ben but I don’t think they should be in Dean’s life.  This show is not about finding the guys love interests.   And I have always been impressed with how Lisa was able to handle Dean’s life and how cool she has been.  But an unhealthy relationship with Sam?  Are you kidding me?  So brothers who are really close and would do anything for one another is unhealthy?   Since when?   To give her the benefit of the doubt (which goes back to her comment about Dean keeping a lot to himself) maybe she doesn’t understand what happened to them growing up and that their ENTIRE LIVES, for about 95% of the time, all they had was each other.  That’s it.   Dead mother, father constantly on the run hunting, no friends, no co-workers, NOTHING!   You can throw Bobby in there and Jess for Sam (sort of) but for most of their lives, they just had each other.   If she doesn’t know the history and doesn’t get their connection, then she’s right, she shouldn’t be with Dean.  But if she does know and that is her interpretation of his relationship with his brother, then good riddens!

When Sam and Dean meet back up at one of the victim’s houses, Dean says he wants the truth and asks Sam about Vampgate.  “Why did you stand there and not help me?”   Sam tells Dean he froze and was scared.  You can see he is lying his ass off to Dean.   But since Dean thinks he can’t lie, he takes what he said as truth and apologies to him.   I find it strange that Dean would believe him so easily.  Especially since he doesn’t think this is Sam and with everything he has seen in his years of hunting, it’s possible something can out smart the “truth bug.”  I was really surprised he wasn’t more dubious.  In their motel room, Sam thinks, based off items found in her room, that the first victim summoned Veritas and that is why she is in town.  Now to find her.   Dean thinks the local TV reporter Ashley Frank, who has a show called “Frank Talk” (get it?   Frank Talk?)   Moving on, they confirm it is Ashley and they go to her house with knives dipped in blood….yummy!   When they enter the house, Veritas is there and she knocks them out and ties them up.   Time for some Frank Talk with the goddess of truth.  As she chows down on someone’s tongue (eeeeeewwww) Sam tries to cut through the rope with his blood knife.   She goes up to Dean and wants the truth.   Dean tells her that he wanted to kill Sam but after their “Frank Talk” he feels better about him.  He also admits that he was kidding himself about being a family man, he is a hunter and always will be.    Thank God he finally realized that revelation!!!  Next, it’s Sam’s turn.  She asks him about Dean and Sam pulls out some rhetoric about their lives being difficult but they manage.   Veritas is incredulous.  “You are lying to me!  What are you?   You can’t be human?”  Uh oh!  Dean is looking at Sam with both anger and resolve because he had been right all along.  And Sam is looking at her like most people look at Paris Hilton…shut the hell up!!!!   Sam is able to break loose from the rope and passes the knife onto Dean.  Veritas takes the upper hand on Sam but Dean stabs her the back and when she let’s go of Sam, Sam is able to stab her in the heart.   Problem solved….or is it?   Dean then turns on Sam and is now convinced that this is not his brother.  Sam asks him to let him explain.   He let him get turned because the Alpha Vamp has a cure and he thought Dean could handle himself against the Vamps.  This makes Dean REALLY happy.  Sam then says he doesn’t know what is wrong with him.  He knows something is wrong but isn’t sure what.  He doesn’t feel anything.  He has no emotion or connection to anything at all.  And he asks Dean to please help him.  Dean drops the knife, Sam relaxes, and Dean goes Mike Tyson on Sam’s face.   Cut to black.

What do you think about this mess?  It really bothers me when my Winchester boys are not on the same team and right now they aren’t.  How long until we find out what the deal is with Sam and if they can fix it?   Do you like S6 so far and the story it is telling?   Let me know.    Happy Halloween everyone!  Please be safe or a Wendigo might come out and slash you!!!

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2010 in CW, Recaps and Reviews

 

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RECAP: Chuck “Chuck vs. the Aisle of Terror” S4 E6

FINALLY, Chuck is getting back to Chuck.   I’ll admit, I was very worried about one of my favorite shows early on in the season but the last 2 episodes have been MUCH better.    I was so tired of every week there is a Sarah/Chuck relationship catastrophe.   She doesn’t want to unpack her stuff and he wants to know why.   She doesn’t want to get married and have kids, he does.  He doesn’t think they communicate and wants to work on it, she doesn’t get it.   Ugh.   Enough already.   Just let them be normal and have fun and at some point if you want to interject a REAL problem, ok.   But starting with last eppy (Chuck vs. the Couch Lock) the writers got away from that angle and just did Chuck/Sarah/Casey as spies and added the surrounding characters in for support stories.   Yeah!!!!

This week was a pretty good episode.  The main case was Freddy Krueger possessing a potential dangerous bio-toxin that messes with people’s minds.  After he tests it and states it’s ready for release, a woman says she has a buyer in LA.   Guess who that woman was?   That’s right….Mama Bartowski!   Mama B calls Chuck on his phone and says she wants to meet with him in the park alone.  Chuck at this point is wondering what the hell is going on.   He has been searching tirelessly for his mom and now she just calls him on the phone and asks for a rendezvous in the park.  Ok.

Chuck goes to the park (and Sarah is with him watching his back) and Chuck receives another phone call.   He knew it was too good to be true, his mother showing up.  But she tells him to look at 3:00 and there she is.   She tells him to go towards the playground and includes Sarah in this bit of intel.  When Sarah moves over to the park area, a gun is then raised to her head.    Sarah quickly turns and aims her gun at one Mama Bartowski.    Great introduction of mom and the girlfriend right?  “I don’t know how to say this but please don’t kill one another.”  Isn’t that always the first thing a guy says when introducing his girlfriend to his mom for the first time!   Ha!  Once Chuck explains who each party is, the guns are lowered and the women seem to ease up, a little bit.   Chuck then starts having a weird let’s-tell-mom-every-moment-she-has-ever-missed-in-my-life moment and Mama B quickly puts an end to it.    She doesn’t want to know anything about Chuck or Ellie.  Harsh much?  But then she explains that she is deep undercover in the Volkoff Organization and doesn’t want them to find out she has a family and use it torture information out of her or worse, go after them.    Sarah asks her why she doesn’t have a CIA file if she is undercover and Mama B explains that it was expunged to make sure she wasn’t found out.   She then tells C&S that she is there to ask Chuck to pose as a buyer for the toxin so it will get into the hands of the CIA.   Sarah asks why Chuck and Mama B says, because she knows she can trust him.   Really?  You can trust the child you abandoned 20+ years ago?   Does that make sense?   Nope.  She’s up to something.   But she leaves to set up the meeting between Chuck and Freddy Krueger.

Back at CIA Buy More, Chuck admits he has a soft spot for anything related to his mother and asks Sarah if he should help her.   She agrees but you can tell she wants to be cautiously optimistic about Mama B.  General Beckman meets with the team and Chuck explains the plan to her based on some intelligence he received.   She agrees with the plan and they are set to meet Freddy Krueger.   Casey thinks something is up and Chuck explains that he found his mom and she is the one that gave him the intel.   Casey isn’t buying this and I usually trust Casey’s instincts.

The meet takes place at an outdoor cafe where Sarah is undercover as the hostess so she can keep an eye on Chuck and Casey is nearby in the van keeping watch on the scene.  Mr. Carmichael is seated and when Freddy Krueger shows up, he sits down and they discuss business.  As the transaction is moving forward, guess who shows up?    That’s right kids, Mama B is there.  She tells Freddy Krueger not to sell the toxin because Chuck is CIA.   The look on Chuck’s face is one of confusion and betrayal and then pain because Mama B pulls out a gun and shoots Chuck in the chest!   The scene isn’t too upsetting because you see black chalk fly instead of blood so you know Chuck is wearing a vest.   Freddy Krueger and Mama B escape during the shootout and Chuck is left to lay there after his own mother shot him.

At Castle, Chuck tells Sarah that his “heart hurts.”   She understands why considering his mother just betrayed him.   “No she shot me in the heart!”   Ha!!  Love Chuck.  Casey, Morgan and Sarah think Chuck should go home and get some rest and he reluctantly agrees.  As he is leaving Buy More, a mysterious car shows up.  Guess who it is again?   Mama B tells Chuck to get in the car and he wants no part of this because she just shot him.   She threatens to shoot him again if he doesn’t get in.   Mothers can be demanding!  He gets in the car and activates his emergency tracking device on his iPhone.    While driving to whereabouts unknown, Mary explains to Chuck that she was deep undercover in Volkoff for the CIA under case name Project Isis.   Unfortunately she got in too deep and the CIA had to drop the project and erase her former life.   She tells Chuck that she knew he was wearing a Kevlar vest and that is why she shot him.  She knew Volkoff was watching, it would look like Charles Carmichael was dead, and he and Ellie would be safe.    “I knew she was going to say that!” my  husband exclaims.   Sure you did sweetie!!   Mama B also tells Chuck that if she could do over again, she would have never left her family.  I guess I have to believe her here but I’m still not so sure.  They end up at rail car depot and she instructs Chuck to follow her.   She takes him to a container where Freddy Krueger is mixing more toxin so he can take him in.   They hear sirens.   Chuck tells her he had to activate his tracking device in his phone so Sarah and Casey could find him.   “Good boy” she says.   She goes to leave and Chuck asks her to see Ellie before she goes.  She tells him she can’t and she goes to leave again.  “Ellie is pregnant!”  This stops her in her tracks and Chuck asks her one more time to please see Ellie.   When he turns away and sees Sarah and crew approaching, he turns back to see his mother is gone.   The CIA sees Chuck with Freddy Krueger and asks how he got there.  “My mom gave me a ride.”   Ha!

Back at Castle, Casey tells Sarah he doesn’t trust Mama B.   Well if Casey doesn’t trust her, neither do I!  Sarah tells him there is no way to investigate her because all her files were erased.  He says he has a friend who is an expert in finding such files.   Of course he does!!!   We flip over the Ellie and Devon who are baby shopping for clothes and toys.  Honey, Awesome’s mom, has been staying with them and she is going to be helping Ellie out with the baby.  Ellie wants a stuffed bear for the baby but Honey thinks it’s a dumb gift because the baby can’t learn anything from it and goes off to find a baby dictionary.  Honey can be a little much but at least she is there for Ellie.  “That’s more than I can say for my own mother.”   Again, guess who is in ear shot of that comment?   How did she find them by the way?  Did she follow them from home?  Was she picking an item for her friend’s daughter who is pregnant and just so happen to be in the same story as Ellie?    I guess since she is a super spy it isn’t THAT far-fetched.   But when Ellie walks away, she goes and picks up the bear that her daughter wanted.   Chuck gets a text message from his mom, she wants to see Ellie.   When Chuck arrives back at Casa Bartowski, Ellie is in the courtyard reading the book Honey got for the baby.   She tells Chuck how much she appreciates Honey being there for her but it would be nice if her own mother were around for support and be there to talk to.   Chuck then smiles and asks if she is busy later that night.

I am going to skip through the toxin being released part and everyone being ok to Casey finding out the intel on Mama B that he wanted.   Two random cars pull up in a remote area and Casey and Sarah each get out of their respective cars.  Sarah wants to know what this is about and Casey tells her it’s about Chuck’s mom.   He didn’t want Chuck or Morgan to hear this and he only wants Sarah to know about this right now.  His buddy was able to pull the information on Project Isis and discover that the project was discontinued over 20 years ago!   Mama B has been lying to Chuck.   Uh oh!   In the meantime, Ellie and Chuck are at a restaurant waiting for their mom.   Ellie looks like the 12-year-old girl who was abandoned all those years ago in anticipation of her mother’s arrival.  And it’s really sweet.   Chuck thinks she may have gotten lost because she is running a bit late, so he goes to look outside for her.   He sees her approaching the restaurant and she had Ellie’s bear in her hands!   Just then, a van skids behind her and hooded men jump out to grab her.   Chuck rushes to her rescue but they get her inside very quickly.   Chuck grabs one of the hooded men and pulls his hood off only to reveal that the hooded man is actually a hooded woman.   It’s Sarah!!!!  She quickly tells him that Mama B has been lying to him and  that she isn’t the person she claims to be.  Sarah jumps in the van and the van speeds away from Chuck who is left in the street dumbfounded.    He returns to the restaurant to tell Ellie that mom is coming.   And you can see that Ellie is crushed.  I seriously almost started to cry for her!    “Why does she keep doing this?”  Ellie asks.   “Because she is a spy” Chuck replies.   Ellie looks shocked.  I don’t know why at this point.   Her father and brother were all spies, why not her mother!

This could be a major turning point in the season for Chuck and Sarah.   Obviously sides are determined.  Casey and Sarah don’t believe Mama B and Chuck will be torn between believing in his mother and his allegiance to his partners.  At this point I have no idea if Mary is bad or not.  The show is leading you to believe that she is, which means she probably isn’t.  I am hoping she’s a baddie and I’ll tell you why.  You can’t always have everyone be the good guy.    These shows work when there is an element of surprise and when a pseudo major character is the bad guy.   Papa B ended up being a good guy.   I think it would be really interesting story telling to have Mary be the Irina Derevko (aka Sydney Bristow’s mom) of Chuck.  It would be fascinating to see how that impacts Chuck’s relationship personally and professionally with her and how Sarah and Casey would handle her and Chuck.   So I am rooting for a bad Mama B.   How about you?

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: The Mentalist S3 E2-3

I know these were on about a month ago but since I just had a chance to watch them and because I have been so hard on Patrick Jane, I needed to quickly comment.

These 2 episodes are why I fell in love with the Mentalist in the first place.  A strong cast, interesting cases, Jane adds some really funny levity to certain scenes, and it is clever to see the way Jane’s mind can work and help out the team.  The Mentalist got back to that premise in these 2 episodes.  It also reminded us how deeply destroyed and devastated Jane still is over the death of his wife and daughter.  He still has not forgiven himself and you have to wonder, unless Red John is caught, if he ever will.  The scene with his brother-in-law at the cemetery clearly illustrates Jane’s pain in a way we haven’t seen in a long time on the show, if ever.  And it reminded me why he can be so messed up and driven when it comes to Red John.

In Season 2, Patrick Jane, quite frankly, became an ass.  He wasn’t funny or charming anymore, he was a jerk.  I don’t know if Simon Baker was directed to play Jane that way or that was his interpretation, but someone, or Baker himself, decided that S2’s Patrick Jane couldn’t come back in S3.   Thank God.   S2 Jane hindered investigations rather than helped.  He constantly put his team in bad situations with their superiors (at one point Lisbon was going to lose her job if she couldn’t rein him in), he insulted victims families, he broke the trust of his team (don’t get me started on the episode regarding the “released toxin”), and he became surly and obnoxious.  S3 Jane seems to have gone back the way of S1 Jane…sad and quirky but intelligent and funny.  He has been helpful with cases and has seemed to let the trust back in with the group.   I applaud this Patrick Jane and I hope it continues moving forward.

I’m also glad we got a Red John case so early on in the season.   But what the hell has happened to Kristina?  What did Red John want with her, what did he do to her,  and why did he not kill her?   This is severely going to mess up Jane even more than before.  I hope we get a little bit of this in each episode because I hate going too long without a Red John eppy!

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in CBS, Quick Reviews/Recaps

 

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ABC Pickups

ABC has given full season pickups to No Ordinary Family, Better with You, and Brothers and Sisters.  It also added 5 more episodes of Detroit 1-8-7.   The Whole Truth, as expected, as been canceled but will run it’s full 13 episode order through December.

As I mentioned before, I like the Whole Truth but it never caught on and has been axed at the knees.  With the ratings of Detroit 1-8-7, I’m surprised ABC ordered more episodes.   Maybe the network really likes the show (I know I do) and is hoping it can succeed and turn around the bad ratings.  It would have to see significant gains and I don’t know how it does that.

I’m happy for Better with You.   I like the show and think it is getting better each week.   But this could be a one and done season.  I hope not.   B&S I have always watched and liked but I am starting to grow tired of the Walkers and maybe it’s time for the show to go out on a high note.

I don’t watch No Ordinary Family.  I wanted to, but I forgot to set it up to tape on the DVR and with so much else to watch, I decided to bag it.  I know I can find it on demand and on line but I already have too much to watch.  Unless someone wants to come on here and convince me otherwise.

 

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in ABC, Canceled Shows

 

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RECAP: Castle “3XK” S3 E6

I challenge anyone to argue this point with me…Castle is the best show on TV.  Go ahead try to do it.  I dare you!  You give up because you can’t…I thought so!

This is the episode I have been waiting for since I heard about it…the Triple Killer.  This is going to be the criminal that bests Castle and Beckett.  And it has Beecher from OZ on the show, how can it not be great!!!!  We start off with a young, attractive blonde being stalked by Beecher and ultimately killed.  When B&B, Castle and Laney show up at the crime scene, they notice that she has been strangled and placed in a restful position with her arms across her chest.  Castle is instantly reminded of a case from 4 years ago…the Triple Killer ( I almost called him the Trinity Killer…ha!)  B&B are quick to dismiss but when they are back at the lab and Laney confirms that the rope used to strangle our victim, was the same rope that 3XK used in his killings.   3XK has returned!!!!  At this point I assume they are letting us know it’s Beecher because the case is more about them finding a way to catch him rather than the traditional who done it!   Which I really like.  Sometimes you don’t need to figure who did it, but how the cops are going to catch them and trick them up.   Because they aren’t done often, I like when a show goes that direction.   Once it’s determined it is 3XK, Montgomery calls a meeting of all the cops in the precinct and they go through the history of 3XK…always kills in 3s, young, pretty blondes in their apartments, and usually as a cable man or repair man of some sort.  That’s what makes this case a little more interesting…it’s sightly different due to the fact that victim #1 was killed in an alley.

Ryan finds out there was a guy at victim #1’s work who was creeping her out named Paul, otherwise known as creepy sweaty dude.  They interview creepy sweaty dude and he confesses that he liked the vic but never touched her.   He also happens to be a security guard.   While investigating Paul further, Monty comes over and tells B&B that they have another victim.  Kim is the next victim and killed in her apartment just like the original 3XK victims.  They search the apartment and find a name tag in the couch “Vince.”   What do you know “Vince” tag has a partial print on it which belongs to…..Beecher!!!  Ok in the show his name is Gates and they now have a real lead in the 3XK case.  They also find out that Gates, when in prison had a cell mate, Jerry Tyson.  C&B go to visit Tyson in prison and he is visibly scared.  He says Gates used to protect him in prison and now he is on his own.   He is terrified of talking to the cops for fear of what will happen to him.  He says Gates is pretty powerful and can get to him, even from the outside.   Tyson eventually admits there is a bar that Gates likes to frequent in the Meat Packing District and that they should check that out.  They do and they grab Gates as he is leaving the bar.

Back at the precinct, they question Gates.  He is very calm, cool, and collected.  He is toying with Beckett during her interrogation.  This is also the first time Monty tells Castle, he can’t go into the interrogation room since Castle joined the team.  I wish they featured Ruben Santiago-Hudson more on this show.   I really like the actor and his character and you can tell how much this case has affected him.   He also has a great scene with one of the previous victim’s father and you see how personal this is for Monty.   Gates is able to explain the fingerprint away (he works in a prop house where he touches almost all of the props) and he has an alibi for the time of victim #1’s death.  We know that isn’t true because we saw Gates on the street corner stalking the victim right before her death.    Beckett tells him they are in the process of searching his apartment and he wants to see a copy of the warrant.   Beckett unfortunately has to give it to him and he is able to see how much they know about the case.  Since Gates must have brushed up on Law 101 in prison, he informs Beckett that without evidence, they cannot hold him any longer and he wants to leave.  They check out his alibi and the camera outside his apartment shows him entering the building at 7:30pm and never leaving.  So he couldn’t have been the killer of victim #1.  Now I’m no detective but the blurry back of someone’s head that kind of looks like the suspect…that confirms his alibi?   Seriously?  Ok.  That wouldn’t be enough for me but what do I know.  They reluctantly release Gates and he taunts them a little on the way out.  Beckett immediately asks for round the clock surveillance on Gates.

At this point Beckett is desperate and needs some help.  Who ya gonna call?  No not the Ghostbusters…Rick Castle!!  He playfully teases her about how she needs him and he suggests going back to visit Tyson for another visit.  This time, Tyson is really over-selling the “I’m afraid of Gates” card but C&B don’t see it.   They offer him a deal for his cooperation and information on Gates…early release from prison and police protection.  He takes the deal and starts to talk.   At this point I find this a little strange but I’m not sure why.  Tyson tells them that Gates mentioned about a time he was over this girl Sarah’s apartment (the daughter of the father who visited Monty earlier in the episode) and that things went bad.  To take himself off the radar screen for a while, he broke a bottle over someone’s head and that’s how he landed in prison.  Tyson is let out of jail and he is brought to a no-tell motel for safe hiding.  Here he tells Ryan that Gates had a partner for some of his crimes.  Ryan immediately calls Beckett and tells her the news.  In the meantime, Tyson’s girlfriend has gone missing but Gates hasn’t left his building all night.   FINALLY someone realizes (Castle) that he knows how Kim was killed.  Gates has someone pose as him at the apartment for his “alibi” in front of the security camera.   When they look at it more closely Esposito asks if that is sweat he sees all over the guy’s head and neck.  It’s creepy sweaty dude!!!!  He was involved after all!!!!  They plan to go get Gates when Monty comes in and informs them that creepy sweaty dude and Gates are now missing as well.  Uh oh.   This doesn’t bode well for Tyson’s girlfriend!  They figure out where Tyson’s girlfriend is and head straight there.  When they bust in they see Gates in the process of trying to strangle her.  Obviously, they arrest him and take him back to the cop shop.

Long story short (“too late” the audience cries) the crew finds out that the link between Gates and creepy sweaty dude is that they are foster brothers and Gates is very protective of him.  Gates isn’t talking so they decide to use the fact that his brother is in the hospital after heart surgery as leverage to get him to talk.  It works and he ends up confessing everything to Beckett and asks for immunity for his brother who really just did what Gates told him to.  They agree and the confession is entered into evidence!!!   The team is thrilled!!!  Although it wraps up a little too neatly for me.    As this is all going down at the station, Ryan and Castle are with Tyson to give him the good news…his girlfriend is just fine and they were able to save her from Gates.  While Tyson is packing his bag he asks “what about Gates.”  Ryan tells him he has been captured and arrested and all is now good.  Castle figures out that is a little strange and asks him why he didn’t ask about his girlfriend.  He is so concerned about Gates but why not his girlfriend who was almost killed?  Castle is now starting to put the puzzle together my husband already figured out….Tyson is really 3XK!!!!  As soon as Ryan and Castle show up at the no-tell motel and sees Tyson packing he yells “He’s 3XK!!!!”  My husband gets very excited when he figures it out!!!  Tyson then knocks out Ryan and ties Castle to a chair.  Castle then goes all Aaron Hotchner on him and profiles his entire life history and how he led up to becoming 3XK.  Tyson then taunts Castle a little bit as well “You are always around death and murder.  What drew you to that?  What happened in your life that makes you want to be obsessed with death and murder?”   Just then, momma Castle calls.   Moms really have the best timing sometimes!!!!  Tyson warns Castle not to say anything that will tip her off or he dies.  They have their conversation and in the end Castle tells his mom he loves her.  They hang up.  Commercial!

Back from commercial break and Tyson has left the hotel and Beckett is right behind with the entire cop shop in tow.  They just miss 3XK but they are able to rescue Ryan and Castle and you can see the relief in Beckett’s eyes that Castle is alright.   When he asked her how they got there so quickly, she said Martha called her because when you told her you loved her, she knew something was wrong.  Ha!!  Love Martha.   They get Ryan to the hospital and Castle is sitting out by the skeevy pool area.  Beckett sits down and asks him if he is ok and you can tell he is a little different after this experience.  She wonders out loud why 3K didn’t kill him.  Castle says to punish him.  He would know that he let the killer get away and that he is out killing more girls and it’s his fault.  Beckett says she knows exactly how he feels and they hold hands to comfort one another and end the show.

FANTASTIC EPISODE!!!   This was a great twist.  You think it’s Gates and like I said before I like the shows where you know who the killer is but you don’t know how they will be caught.   This show had that but then had the twist of, oops, it wasn’t really him!   But now you know who it really is!!!   And you know 3XK is coming back.  I believe I read that this will be a season long fight for Beckett and Castle and I can’t wait to see what happens!!

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in ABC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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LOST Analysis: The Event “Loyalty” S1 E6

I bet you are starting to see which shows I am catching up on since the reviews are coming out-of-order!   But I finally watched 5 episodes of the Event.   Probably not the best idea but I made it work.  Well 6 episodes in and I’m still not sure if I am into this show.  I like it, but I don’t LOVE it.   There are parts I am really interested in (what side is Simon really on, Sean’s search for Leila, why she was kidnapped, who her kidnappers work for, where is her sister, what is up with her dad, pretty much this whole story line) and there are parts I could care less about right now (how Martinez will handle the detainees, will they be released, is Blake corrupt or a good soldier for Martinez, Thomas and Sophia, etc.)   Really whenever Thomas is on the screen I just want to FF because he annoys me.   Also with The Event, I think parts are very predictable…Sean using Vicky’s kid as bait to release Leila, the fact that Vicky’s “son” is the baby from the assassination from 5 years ago, when Sean and Claire were going up to the house in Texas and you see Carter going to leave the house in Texas, you know Sean and Claire aren’t at the same house, and the “Marshalls” coming to pick up Sean at the FBI satellite office, you know they were the bad guys.   So that bums me a little that there are so many predictable parts to the show.   And there are certain characters I am into (Sean, Vicky, Leila, Simon,) certain ones the jury is still out on (Blake, Martinez, Jarvis, Claire, Sophia,) and certain ones I don’t care about (Thomas, Christina.)

As I mentioned before, I already like that this show moves at a quick pace, answers questions, solves problems yet creates new ones.  I like the fact that Sean has found Leila and it wasn’t dragged out all season.  Plus there is still so much mystery there…who targeted Leila and her family and why, what is her father’s connection with Alaska, how did her hair look so good after not being washed or combed for days?   We still need to know where Sam is and who has her although it looks like we may get an idea into that next week.  And just what is Vicky’s deal?  She’s an assassin.  Who is her employer?  How did she get into that?  Does her mother know?  What is her end game?  There seems to be a lot more to Vicky than just cold-blooded bitch.    Or maybe it is that simple, time will tell.

I think Simon is starting to be in quite a pickle.  And I really don’t know who is allegiance is to at this point.  I think he wants to remain loyal to his alien crew (and I am calling them that for now until I have a chance to read further into them) but I think he likes Martinez and has respect for him as well.  But he can’t play on both sides, at least not forever.  And at one point he is going to have to choose.  You can also see how tormented he is by these choices and the time in 1954 illustrates that very well.  Simon (Mason as he was known to his lady friend) falls in love with Violet.  Eventually, Thomas shows up and tells Simon, he has to move on or she has to die.  Simon doesn’t want to because he has built a life with her and he wants to continue that life.  Thomas asks the question I am also dying to know, “how would you explain to her the fact that you never age?”   Great question!   He said he would find a way to work around that.  Ok, sure you would.  But Simon has to leave her.  And years later, after he finished his secret service exam, he walks past a hotel where standing outside is, you guessed it, Violet, 46 years later.  She recognizes him instantly and once he realizes who she is, you can see the pain and love on his face.  He returns to see Violet and apologies for running out her all those years ago.  He tells her that he had no choice.  She tells him but that in fact was his choice to make.  Ian Anthony Dale does some great acting in these scenes.  And even though he is a traitor (on so many levels) you can’t help but root for him because he is so likable.  As Sophia and Thomas escape from the tracking the government has on her, Sophia asks Simon to join them and he says he can’t.  I guess he made his choice.   And as he is leaving the building, the building starts to collapse with him and the FBI inside.  As they are struggling to get everyone out, they notice it isn’t an earthquake or a bomb, but a pretty sky colored hole that is opening up and swallowing the building.   Which of course was created by Thomas and didn’t make Sophia too happy.  Boy everyone is collateral damage with this Thomas guy….jerk.  Everyone is able to get out right as the building caves in.    So what powers do these people have that can move planes in mid-flight or swallow up entire buildings?  And why does Thomas want to kill innocent people?  He isn’t a bitter detainee because he has been free all these years.  I don’t get his anger management issues.  Sophia was held all this time and she doesn’t condone the violence with which Thomas seems to be operating.   So why is Thomas so unfeeling and ruthless?  What is his motivation and what is the ultimate goal of the detainees?   William made a deal with the administration to have himself and his girlfriend Maya, set free in exchange for information about what their doing here.  When he told Maya of his plan, she apparently found herself with the dilemma of joining her boyfriend or killing him to protect the detainees secrets.   She chose the later.  I guess they weren’t as strong a couple as Sean and Leila.     So what is so important you kill your boyfriend to keep quite?

I think the show is getting better and I am investing in seeing what will happen next.   But I also wouldn’t be surprised if this is a one and done season for the show.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2010 in NBC, Recaps and Reviews

 

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